8 Best Background Check Companies of 2020

[Tested & Reviewed]

In need of background check companies?

Well, put on your PI glasses, and take a look at our list!

Our companies are thoroughly reviewed and evaluated, based on:

  • Features
  • Quality of information
  • Value for money

Don’t believe me? CHECK for yourself!

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Top 8 Best Background Check Companies for 2020

1. TruthFinder

TruthFinder is an ALL-IN-ONE background checking company. Apart from phone & address lookups, it also offers criminal & sex offender searches. There is also an option to search for possible associates and get customizable reports with their membership plan. Full Review

  • Dark web monitoring
  • Compatible on iOS & Android
  • Unlimited searches with membership

TruthFinder is an ALL-IN-ONE background checking company. Apart from phone & address lookups, it also offers criminal & sex offender searches. There is also an option to search for possible associates and get customizable reports with their membership plan. Full Review

2. Intelius

With its A rating from BBB, Intelius is a 100% transparent company. It gives you the ability to do person & property searches, together with phone directories, birth & death records. If you’re an Android user, it is also mobile-friendly. Full Review

  • 100% anonymous searches
  • 20 billion public records
  • Up-to-date contact information

With its A rating from BBB, Intelius is a 100% transparent company. It gives you the ability to do person & property searches, together with phone directories, birth & death records. If you’re an Android user, it is also mobile-friendly. Full Review

3. BeenVerified

BeenVeried is an AFFORDABLE background checker that offers criminal & court records, together with property, personal & vehicle reports. It comes with 2 membership plans, both offering unlimited searches, lookups & reports. Full Review

  • 7,000,000 downloads
  • Mobile-friendly
  • Refunds available

BeenVeried is an AFFORDABLE background checker that offers criminal & court records, together with property, personal & vehicle reports. It comes with 2 membership plans, both offering unlimited searches, lookups & reports. Full Review

4. Instant CheckMate

Instant Checkmate is a SAFE website where your searches are 100% anonymous. It comes with a free Android app and a database which searches through millions of National, State and Local records. Full Review

  • 70,000+ 5 Star reviews
  • 1,400,000+ searches
  • 5-day $1 trial

Instant Checkmate is a SAFE website where your searches are 100% anonymous. It comes with a free Android app and a database which searches through millions of National, State and Local records. Full Review

5. PeopleFinders

PeopleFinders is one of the largest owners of public records in the US. Apart from the traditional criminal, public & reverse phone checks, it also offers DaaS for businesses. If you want to do this on the go, it comes with a free mobile app. Full Review

  • 43+ billion records
  • 6,000+ data sources
  • 2 Paid memberships

PeopleFinders is one of the largest owners of public records in the US. Apart from the traditional criminal, public & reverse phone checks, it also offers DaaS for businesses. If you want to do this on the go, it comes with a free mobile app. Full Review

6. USSearch

USSearch is one of the CHEAPEST background checkers. Along with the standard person, email & phone search, it also offers reverse property searches. You get all of these records in a single, easy to navigate report. Full Review

  • Social network search
  • One-time search available
  • Affordable Price

USSearch is one of the CHEAPEST background checkers. Along with the standard person, email & phone search, it also offers reverse property searches. You get all of these records in a single, easy to navigate report. Full Review

7. GoodHire

If you’re looking to do international searches, then GoodHire is the background checker for you. It delivers 85% of all searches in less than a minute, and it is the perfect tool for screening any current or future employees. Full Review

  • Easy to use
  • Data from 223 countries
  • Mobile Friendly

If you’re looking to do international searches, then GoodHire is the background checker for you. It delivers 85% of all searches in less than a minute, and it is the perfect tool for screening any current or future employees. Full Review

8. PeopleSmart

PeopleSmart aggregates billions of public records into an easy-to-use interface. Along with the standard services, it also gives you the option to retrieve non-digitized records directly from country courthouses. Full Review

  • Confidential reports
  • User-friendly design
  • Up-to-date contact information

PeopleSmart aggregates billions of public records into an easy-to-use interface. Along with the standard services, it also gives you the option to retrieve non-digitized records directly from country courthouses. Full Review

Finding the Best Background Check Companies

What are the best options in 2020?

Detailed Reviews

Intelius
Intelius

BEST FOR

Services Overall

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  • Compatible with: Windows, Mac, Android
  • Criminal background checks: Yes
  • One-time search option: No
  • Reverse address lookup: Yes
  • Mapping locations of criminal record holders: Yes

Overview

Intelius is a Seattle-based background check company that helps clients conduct the most accurate background check possible. Thousands of clients across the US use the company’s services to find school friends, check if the information provided by their online dates is genuine, or identify neighbors with a criminal record. The company’s database ensures that you can find out everything you want to know about any adult person in America.

Pros
Cons
Monthly subscriptions and à la carte services Complicated cancelation process
Broad background check options
Hidden costs
Native mobile app Additional services not included in monthly subscription plan

Ease of use, search options, and interface functionality

You can run an Intelius background check without having to worry about any hiccups on the site. The dashboard functionality and the site’s visuals are just some of the things we like about this company.

Like many other background check websites, Intelius allows you to conduct different types of searches – by name, phone, or address. You track the entire process, which includes a review of federal, state, and county records. In order to narrow your search, you might be asked to provide additional information, like a date of birth or number of siblings.

Features and services

If you want to find out more about a date that you met through an online dating service, Intelius has the best background check app that provides instant search reports. Regardless of which platform or device you are using, you can conduct a full background check instantly.

Like most of the companies on our list, Intelius allows you to use different types of services. If you haven’t heard from a relative in years, the basic people search will be enough to get an address or a phone number. But if you want to go a step further and find out where your relative works or whether they are married, request Intelius’s public record report. Finally, Intelius offers a comprehensive background check service that will provide you with extensive information about an individual’s past.

Countless online background check reviews praise the company’s reverse address lookup, which enables you to find other people using Intelius services and an address. Meanwhile, the reverse phone lookup is commonly used by people who want to find out more about a property they plan to purchase. The best background check services like Intelius provide potential buyers with a complete overview of the property’s residents, owners, and sales history.

Pricing

Our Intelius review wouldn’t be complete without mentioning costs. For starters, Intelius doesn’t display prices on its website, and you won’t receive a price list until you file your first request. Secondly, there is no option that allows you to request a one-time background check and pay for it. Instead, you need to purchase a monthly subscription, which will cost you $22.86/month.

Note that this background check site will charge you automatically each month if you don’t cancel your subscription. If you decide to buy a two-month subscription, the price is $38.43. There’s also an additional $3.99 charge for downloading the report.

TruthFinder
TruthFinder

BEST FOR

Improving your Digital Footprint

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  • Compatible with: Windows, iOS, Android
  • Criminal background checks: Yes
  • One-time search option: No
  • Reverse address lookup: Yes
  • Mapping locations of criminal record holders: Yes

Overview

If you’re looking for a company that provides the best background checks, look no further than TurthFinder. As its name implies, the company helps clients find out the truth about their neighbors, colleagues, and even relatives. To do so, it checks various sources, from social media accounts to criminal and arrest records.

Pros
Cons
In-depth reports on criminal records No free trial
Identity theft protection services No one-time background check service
Free family tree maker Lacks 24-hour customer support

Ease of use, search options, and interface functionality

When it comes to the TruthFinder website, we were really impressed with its functionality and speed. You can log in to your account directly from the site, or you can use your Facebook account. As soon as you type in the name, this best background check site immediately starts the search.

Countless online background check reviews applaud the company for providing fast and in-depth reports. Even if you can offer only limited data to begin the search, the company will do the rest. The website uses a powerful search intelligence platform that can easily review millions of public records in a short period of time. Regardless of the device you use, you’ll get the full report in just a few minutes.

Features and services

In theory, background screening companies should be able to provide data on criminal records. But this isn’t always the case. Most companies can get access to an individual’s criminal history only if you provide all the relevant information including the full name, place of residence, and other details.

TruthFinder, on the other hand, can dig up this sort of information on anyone, regardless of how long they’ve lived in the US. If your target has only been in the US for only a couple of months, the company will dig up all relevant records. Moreover, the company checks for juvenile arrests and criminal records as well.

Widely regarded as the best criminal background check site, TruthFinder also provides lots of other services. One of the things we really liked is that you can check your own background history and improve your digital footprint. To help you improve your online presence, the company allows you to hide information you don’t want other TruthFinder users to see.

Moreover, the company monitors the dark web for traces of your personal information. This is a really useful tool that can protect you from identity theft and other dangerous online activities. The best part is that you don’t need to check your profile constantly – if your personal information pops up, the site will notify you immediately.

But how secure is this whole process and is TruthFinder anonymous? In one word, yes. You can perform a top background check on any person you want and you don’t have to worry about them finding out. The search is private and your target will not be notified about it. Also, the website uses 128-bit encryption, so you can rest assured that no one will get access to communications between you and the company.

Pricing

Unlike other companies for background checks, TruthFinder displays its pricing options openly on its site. There are two subscription options – you can either subscribe to a monthly service or purchase a three-month subscription plan. In both cases, you’ll be able to perform unlimited background checks. The monthly membership will cost you $27.78/month, while for a three-month subscription the price is $26 per month. There is also the option to purchase a reverse phone lookup service à la carte for less than $2.

We’ll wrap up this online background check review by designating TurthFinder as one of the best online background check providers on the market. With the company’s software you can easily find all your relatives and even get access to a family tree maker.

Instant CheckMate
Instant CheckMate

BEST FOR

Criminal Background Checks

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  • Compatible with: Mac, Android, Windows
  • Criminal background checks: Yes
  • One-time search option: No
  • Reverse address lookup: Yes
  • Mapping locations of criminal record holders: Yes

Overview

Launched in 2010, Instant CheckMate quickly began providing the best criminal background check on the market. Criminal civil records, drug records, convictions, and any other reports related to criminal history are easily accessible through Instant CheckMate.

In addition, the company offers comprehensive background check services. You can check an individual’s employment history, education, property ownership, and many other things.

Ease of use, search options, and interface functionality

Just like many other similar companies, Instant CheckMate reviews your request directly from the website. You just need to type in the full name and the location of the person that you’re inquiring about, and the site will provide you with a report in a matter of minutes. Although the site loads quickly on both desktop and mobile devices, we weren’t impressed with the visuals. More specifically, we didn’t like the cluttered interface.

Pros
Cons
Trial period Expensive services
Criminal and arrest records search for each state Clunky interface
Inmate search option PDF report charges

Features and services

Before delving deeper into the features on offer at the best website for background check, we need to answer the most important question – is Instant CheckMate legit?

During our Instant CheckMate review we learned that the company isn’t a consumer reporting agency, and the website clearly states that you cannot use the service for any purpose that requires FCRA compliance. In other words, Instant CheckMate is perfectly legit, but it’s up to you to use the information properly.

All the top background check sites include this information on their homepage, so look through the Instant CheckMate disclaimer for more details. There is also an FAQ section where you’ll find examples of how others have used the company’s services and in what instances you aren’t allowed to do so.

For example, if you want to buy something from online sellers, you can do a quick review of their services. But Instant CheckMate services cannot be used to decide whether you should hire someone or if they are eligible to buy your home.

Instant CheckMate is a great background check website for criminal background checks. There are several search options that you can conduct. You can check if someone has a criminal or an arrest record, or you can search for names on the sex offender database. You can do a check for each state or see if your person of interest is in any of the city crime databases.

Furthemore, this company for a background check provides you with a list of people who have committed crimes in the area where you reside, so you can protect yourself and your loved ones. To top it all off, there is the inmate search option, which enables you to find out who is in jail and allows you to locate any prisoner in the country.

Pricing

If you’re looking for a cheap background check, we suggest you avoid this provider. For basic background check services, you’ll need to pay $32.78 per month. This subscription doesn’t include in-depth background checks or other services like reverse phone lookup. Additionally, the PDF version of each background report costs $2.99. The good thing about this company is that it offers a five-day trial that costs only $1. The background checking company will allow you to do background searches and reverse email lookup.

PeopleFinders
PeopleFinders

BEST FOR

Broad Background Search

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  • Compatible with: Windows, Mac, Android
  • Criminal background checks: Yes
  • One-time search option: Yes
  • Reverse address lookup: Yes
  • Mapping locations of criminal record holders: Yes

Overview

PeopleFinders has been in business since 1999, which makes it one of oldest providers of top background checks. The company specializes in finding people from your past, including your childhood friends, highschool sweetheart, or relatives you’ve lost touch with.

Not only does the company help you reconnect with people, but it also enables you to learn more about their history. You can find out their marital status or whether they have criminal records and bankruptcies.

Pros
Cons
Fast and reliable customer support Lacks transparency with pricing plans
A+ rating on the BBB Cancelation fees
Affordable Issues with signing in

Ease of use, search options, and interface functionality

You can access the site directly from the browser, or you can install the mobile app on your iPhone and conduct searches on the go. And just like some of the other names on our list of background check companies, PeopleFinders has several search options.

You can start by entering the full name and address and then narrow your search by adding details like the date of birth. Moreover, you can do an email lookup to find out who sent you an email. This protects your account from scams like phishing emails.

Another search option is the reverse phone lookup. If you keep getting anonymous phone calls, you can use this background search site to find the name and address of the person calling you. Finally, there is the address search option, which gives you all the details on any property that you’re interested in.

Features and services

The company prides itself on providing fast and accurate information. Over the past 20 years, PeopleFinders has created a large database of more than 43 billion public records. It’s among the most reputable background check companies because it operates with 6,000 sources of data. Even if the person you’re inquiring about doesn’t live in the US anymore, the company will provide you with information for the period when they did. The company has access to information from the past 40 years.

Pricing

A people search report includes basic details like name, alias, address, phone number, and relatives. The report costs $1.95, but if you sign up for the three-day trial, you’ll get it for $0.95.
After the three-day trial, you’ll be switched over to the monthly subscription for $24.95 unless you pay the $2.95 cancelation fee.

Another option is to pay for the full one-time background check report. The price for the best background search is $39.95. Signing up for the trial period will cost you $3.95, which is probably the best cheap background check you can get. The premium membership will set you back $29.95.

When compared with other companies, PeopleFinders is unique in one crucial respect. It allows customers to buy the results of a one-time search or a background check report.

Another important element that we couldn’t leave out of our best background check review is the customer service at PeopleFinders. Hundreds of online reviews on TrustPilot praise the company’s support agents for their professionalism and technical know-how.

Best background check vendors for 2020

In order to provide you with most accurate information, we tested each company’s service. Here’s what we found:

1. Intelius
A great solution when evaluating a property you want to buy. The site’s reverse address lookup service provides you with accurate information about the property’s residents and sales history.
2. TruthFinder
Uses powerful dark web monitoring tools that protect you from identity theft and other fraudulent online activities.
3. Instant Checkmate
Provides the most comprehensive reports on background checks.
4. PeopleFinders
Provides a powerful search engine that checks multiple databases in order to find the individual that you’re interested in.

Why Choose Background Check Companies?

Most people have heard about these public record search services, but many aren’t sure what these companies actually do or if they’re even legal. Firstly, there are two types of products that most companies offer: people search and background check.

The people search option is for those who want to find someone – a person from their past like a classmate or a former colleague. You don’t exactly need the very best site for background checks for this particular service. Most providers will give you a short report with basic information about your inquiry, including the person’s name, alias, age, and phone number.

The background check option is for those who want a more comprehensive report about a particular individual. In addition to their name, address, and phone number, you can find out about the person’s marital and financial status. You also check if they have a criminal record or any pending lawsuits.

It’s important to note that these top-rated background check providers are not consumer reporting agencies* as defined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which regulates how consumer information is collected, disseminated, and used. As such, the collected information cannot be used to determine an individual’s eligibility for employment, credit cards, or housing. In other words, landlords can’t use the service to screen prospective tenants, and HR departments can’t decide who their companies hire based on these reports.

Furthermore, banks and insurance companies aren’t allowed to use the information to make decisions about prospective clients, and you can’t use it to decide which nanny or gardener to hire.

So, what can you use these services for? Well, there’s no shortage of reasons why people choose to use background search companies. In addition to helping you reconnect with people from your past, these services can also offer valuable information about your new colleagues, a roommate, and even a date. You can also run a background check on the parents of your kid’s best friend and check if you’re buying products from reliable online sellers. You can even do a background check on yourself and see how you are presented online. This can be the first step towards improving your digital footprint.

Methodology for Evaluating Background Check Companies

Numerous companies can help you find and reconnect with people from your past or reveal information about the people around you. But not all of these companies deserve your trust. Hundreds of websites claim to provide only accurate information. In reality, many of those are scammers.

In order to help you find reliable vendors, we checked dozens of sites and tested their services. In this article we included only those that have years of experience and positive customer reviews on the BBB and TrustPilot. We also shared with you our criteria for evaluating each of the providers so you can rest assured that all of the names on our list are the very best sites for background checks.

FCRA Approval

Before you pay for a background check, you should know what you’re allowed to use the information for. Background check companies aren’t consumer reporting agencies as defined by the FCRA, and therefore these services cannot be used to determine an individual’s employment eligibility or if they qualify for a loan.

Bear in mind that since these aren’t consumer reporting agencies, there are no guarantees that you’ll be provided with accurate information. So, if you are looking for the best background check service for employers or landlords, you’ll have to look for sites that are covered by the FCRA.

Search Options

The list of search options is the next criteria for evaluation. It’s easy to find someone if you have their full name and address. But what happens if you don’t have that information? Perhaps you only have a phone number. All of the background check providers we’ve evaluated are able to work with this limited information and find the person you are looking for.

User Interface

In addition to the website’s functionality, we also evaluated the design of the interface. This is important when you’re tracking the search, including the scanning of a person’s address, education, employment, and criminal record. The site also displays when the software checks different databases. A clear and well-organized interface is equally important when you get the background report. It should be easy to understand and navigate, especially if there are lots of details.

Mobile App

The top background check websites are generally compatible with all platforms and operating systems. But the most prominent ones have developed their own mobile apps. You can install the app on Android or iOS devices for even faster and more secure searches.

Additional Services

The companies from our list provide several types of services, including people searches, criminal and arrest record searches, and comprehensive background searches. These services are ideal for finding old classmates and relatives you lost touch with or checking if your neighbor has a criminal record. But these companies are also equipped with a broad range of useful tools that you can employ for other purposes. Here are some examples:

Online presence

The top background check companies are commonly used by people who want to do a personal background check. This shows you what others can find out about you by scouring through social media or digging deeper into public records. Using some of these tools can help you hide or even erase negative data from your profile. Future employers, landlords, or even insurance companies don’t need to see embarrassing things from your past.

Dark web monitoring

This service is very useful, but it’s rarely offered by background investigation companies. Dark web monitoring tools alert you if your name appears on the dark web so you can protect yourself from fraudsters and other cybercriminals.

Reverse address lookup

Most people use this service to get more details about a property they want to buy. It enables you to get information about the property’s current and previous owners. You can also check your future neighborhood and find if there is someone suspicious living there.

Mapping locations of ex-offenders & criminal record holders

The best background check includes a detailed search of criminal and arrest records. However, sometimes customers don’t search for an individual’s criminal record. Instead, they prefer to check the entire area for convicted sex offenders and other people with a record. The result of these checks can be delivered in the form of reports or maps.

Pricing

Figuring out how much all these services cost isn’t an easy task. Most companies don’t disclose their pricing lists until you request a background report. Of course, we all want the company that provides the cheapest background check.

Generally, companies offer monthly subscriptions that include an unlimited number of background searches. In some cases, you can buy a one-time check and purchase specific services, like reverse phone lookup.

Disclaimer

*Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) as defined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The sites listed on this page can’t be used for employment, credit or tenant screening, or related purpose.

FAQ

How to do a background check?

If you don’t have money to hire a private investigator to search for people, the next best thing is to subscribe to an online service. There are companies that can help you reunite with people from your past and provide a legit background check on just about anyone. These companies scour through millions of public records and use multiple sources to gather the information you need.

What is the best background check company?

It depends on your needs. If you need a fast and detailed search, you can try PeopleFinders. But if you need detailed criminal reports, we recommend Instant CheckMate.

What is the most common background check?

According to online reviews on sites like TrustPilot, people conduct background checks for various reasons. The most common ones are searches for criminal records and trying to locate relatives and childhood friends.

Can I check my own background?

Yes. You can type any name you want in the search bar, even your own, and request a background check.

What is TruthFinder?

TruthFinder is one of the best background check companies that can help you find people from your past or do extensive background searches on your dates or new neighbors.